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Posts Tagged ‘conservation’

 

Demise of dinosurs some 66 million years ago by a cosmic impact* ought to tell us some sobering facts. Like the stone that was hewn without hands in the Book of Daniel a meteorite wiped out the Giants that walked on the earth. Mammals at that time were precariously trying to get a toehold and on the slow stream of life man was holding on. Now we are the dominat species at least on the basis of wholescale impact we have on everything else. Plastics? Why we invented it and made it on a commercial basis so it made profit for industries that took up production all across the globe. It was so pervasive no household could do without it. It had of course its practical appliciation but the oceans are now chokeful of it so much we are fated to ingest it from marinelife that we catch. The simple organisms like sponge that played a large part in cleaning up the ocean beds are dying and corals are bleached due to the climatic changes. Welcome to the age of anthropocene.

We have been pretty careless with our environment. As homo sapiens man exploits his ‘wisdom’ but for what? He carried beads and baubles, which were trinkets in the Old World but novelty for natives in the New World. What wisdom is in extending scorched earth policy all across the world? Now we are told to expect some pretty fundamental changes when we are no longer the planet’s dominant animal species.

So if we were given the chance to peek forward in time at the Earth some 50m years after our disappearance, what would we find? Which animal or group of animals would “take over” as the dominant species? Would we have a Planet of the Apes, as imagined in popular fiction? Or would the Earth come to be dominated by dolphins, or rats,- or cockroaches or ants?

The question has inspired a lot of popular speculation and many writers have offered lists of candidate species. Before offering any guesses, however, we need to carefully explain what we mean by a dominant species.

Of all the species that were arguably dominant animals at some stage in the history of the Earth, humans are alone in their remarkable intelligence and manual dexterity. It follows that such traits are neither requirements for being dominant among animals, nor particularly likely traits to evolve. Evolution does not favour intelligence for its own sake, but only if it leads to higher survival and reproductive success. We exhausted our opportunities in ideologies capitalism or socialism. Even in matters of belief-system our stupidity is so egregious that we preach what we do not understand. We kill but do not cure stupidity of others by it. Why kill another for an idea? It shall never stay true but change with time.

Even if humans succumb to a global pandemic that affects relatively few other mammals, the great apes are precisely the species that are most at risk of contracting any new diseases that drive us from the Earth.

Consequently when we speak of dominant species this article of intelligence need be qualified as that raises the level every other species. Of nature putting balances and checks so no species may free ride at expense of others we need accept as good.

It is a profound mistake to imagine that our successors are likely to be especially intelligent or social creatures, or that they will be capable of speech, or adept with human technology.

So what can we safely speculate about the dominant species, some 50m years after humanity? (Ack: the Conversation-Jan. 26/luc bussiere-univ.of Stirling)

* The Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) extinction event, also known as the Cretaceous–Tertiary (K–T) extinction, was a mass extinction of some three-quarters of the plant and animal species on Earth—including all non-avian dinosaurs—that occurred over a geologically short period of time approximately 66 million years( wikipedia)

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Solid Fame ©

I wanted to try my hand at sea fishing like the way Hemingway did; so when I had a chance I chartered a boat for a day. Suppose I tell you the name of the boat was Harry Morgan. Wouldn’t you think I was far gone into it? I mean the Hemingway thing?
Call it a beginner’s luck I caught the strangest looking fish as soon as I learned to cast a line. The captain of the boat said, ‘It is a flounder. No doubt of that.’
It was not a Marlin that I had hoped for but a flounder. A monster of a flounder!


I said that it was a flounder but with the most peculiar habit of weeping. Captain Bill looked at my catch and gave a cry. He had never seen such luck as I had. The fish began to beat its tail, ‘Give my life back and I shall fulfill your wildest dream.’
The captain was standing next to me and I asked, ‘What shall I ask him, Bill?’
‘Fame! Fame!’ the captain hissed in my ear. So I told the flounder, ‘Make me famous.’
The fish wanted to know ‘famous for what?’
I couldn’t give the specifics so I said, ‘Fame, it is not all that difficult?’
The fish said my wish was granted.
At the end of the day I headed to the nearest bar. I knew what fame meant. ‘I shall be on every one’s lips.’ I said to myself.
The bar where fishermen frequented was choking full. But as soon as I stepped in those who hung out made way for me. I knew I was famous. They were all looking at me and in their envy I knew the flounder was a genius.
While ordered for a shot of whiskey I heard one comment, ‘He is very famous!’
‘Famous for what?’
A pause. The first voice spoke, ‘I dunno.’
It was greeted with a guffaw. I saw red and I went back to the end of the wharf. I was alone, and called out, ‘Flounder, flounder.’
The flounder surfaced and asked, ‘what will you be now?’
‘I want to hunt and kill a lion.’ The flounder said, ‘Go and you shall indeed kill one.’
I went to Africa for big game hunting. I shot my first lion and I went home. I was on every one’s lips. But no single one spoke in my favor and they all damned for having killed one of the last two remaining lions.
I was upset. And I had no use for such fame.
So I went to my flounder. I said, ‘Flounder make me famous. This time make it certain it is for solid reasons.’
The flounder said, ‘There is now only one way you can secure your fame. Are you ready for desperate measures?’
I answered, ‘yes.’
He whispered into my ears and I directly went back to Africa and killed the last lion.
Next day the papers were full of it. I was the cynosure of all eyes. People paid money to be photographed in my company. They wanted my autograph. Celebrities vied with one another to dine with me. They even followed me everywhere, cheering me all the way. In fact they never had enough of me.
‘Whoever heard of a flounder riding our streets? Or bagging a lion!’ So sang they all.
There is even a proverb, ‘getting a load of Flounder Fred’ meaning one is famous in whichever way you looked.( reprinted from Elves Bells)
benny

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In the heart of a forest loggers were sent by a multinational Company. They set up their camp in that remote part intent for a long stay. Their work progressed as the rainforest decreased steadily.
A Monkey one day found his homestead where his forefathers had made home almost gone.The lumberjack who was to fell the last tree told the monkey to move on.


‘No Monkey tricks,’ said the man, ‘where my livelihood is concerned.’
‘Are we not related?’ asked the monkey appealing to him, ‘Didn’t my ancestor help you to your feet when you wanted to walk on two feet?’
The lumberjack waved him away saying, ‘Am I asking you to help me to stand on legs?’ The monkey knew it was useless to make him change. He scampered to safety as the mighty tree shook and the noise of the steady Thwak!’ of the axe made him angry and sad.(to be cont’d)
benny

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A child who sees a leaf falling for the first time does not know why it has fallen. But in its downward flight the child knows a certain thrill that shall never return again in its intensity. Whereas the earth shall keep that purity, wonder and knowledge through every child. Generations after generations it shall remain young. This is magic: innocence of a child sustains it.
The secret is with the earth and the child.
This secret shall be kept as long as there are children, and there are as many trees. The day he sees a tree as a tree and thinks nothing but profit he will begin cutting it down. He has signaled thereby to all he has lost his sense of wonder.
Once that sense of wonder is lost trees do not stand a chance; nor would the earth remain young as before. A day shall come when a child shall see the earth and see only a monster waiting to swallow it whole.
benny

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Hitler’s Third Reich was built up on the foundation of hatred. It was meant to endure for 1000 years. But it could only manage 13 years. Why? Hatred consumes much more vital resources in human and material terms so much so it cannot be cost effective. Jihadist elements who employ female suicide bombers or African militia using child soldiers are spendthrifts sacrificing their future for the present gains.
2.
It takes money to make money. Right? How is it that those who have made money want more? Greed seems to keep man as though he has got ants in his pants. He may wheel and deal as though ants are out to get at him but do you think he would be able to amount to much? Greed consumes as hate. We see both working overtime these days.
While on the subject of greed I might speak here of  two great philanthropists who lived to give away their wealth wisely and for making at least some difference to people who needed a push at a time they needed most.  Carnegie and Rockefeller had greed in their blood. But life experience gave them a certain kind of infusion to make their vitality achieve something else. It was not wealth per se but by it they could put various aspects that made their lives an uneven weight of struggles, achievements, tears and happiness on a single standard. Wealth for them was the means. Consider now a man far less endowed say for example Johnny Appleseed, was not his contribution to the world as vital as anything that Carnegie could achieve with money? Johny Appleseed made the difference because of something that is rooted in life: he cared.
Life thrives on soils where wealth, science, technology, arts literature and people are all means to make the world richer. Richness comes from love that can be used in right proportions so each aspect is helped by other parts .  For example, wealth funds science and research in turn leads to technological innovations. It can either lead to terrible weapons to wage war or serve as the means to wean the childish notions of man for self- aggrandizement. For the latter, arts and literature act as an ennobling incentive. In this what is the place for religion, one might ask. I shall discuss this in another post.
In this post we are considering only the aspect of life on a finite mode, where wealth is not cost effective if it is not allied with love.
benny

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